Renowned Spanish moviemaker Pedro Almodóvar was born on this day in 1949. He first earned international recognition for 1988’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1990 BAFTA awards. His fame rose higher when 1999’s All About My Mother, an ensemble drama about family identities, won a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Families in disarray are a common theme in Almodóvar’s movies–they may be loving, but trouble and danger are often lurking right around the corner. Almodóvar also loves to play with sexual conventions, often centering his movies on strong female characters or transsexuals. In 2004 the writer-director released Bad Education, which covers the lives of two boys sexually abused by priests. 2006’s Volver, which saw Almodóvar introduce more comedic elements into his arsenal, earned Penélope Cruz a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Connections: Volver was the third movie Pedro Almódovar made with Penélope Cruz. They worked together previously in 1997’s Carne trémula and 1999’s Mother. Their fourth collaboration, La Piel que habito, is scheduled for a release in 2008.